East Bay Meditation Center Newsletter 
MARCH 2017   
Y ou are invited!  
EBMC Teen Sangha & 3 Realms Collective  
Digital Mural Unveiling and Community Gathering

Sunday, March 26, 2017
12:30 pm - 3 pm
Lunch provided

For the past year, the 3Realms Collective have been hard at work fundraising for a digital mural covering EBMC's windows facing Harrison Street. Recently, they secured a grant from the Akonadi Foundation which EBMC matched with a gift from Spirit Rock, and began working with the Teen Sangha on their vision for a "Healing Justice" mural.

Please join us on March 26 for the unveiling of the digital mural and community gathering. Lunch will be provided from 12:30-1:30pm. There will also be time after lunch for community Q&A with LSangha (board) and staff members. This is an opportunity for you to get information, ask questions and give input about EBMC's finances, programs, development as a spiritual community leader of radical inclusion, and more!

We know your time is valuable, and we will be honored by your participation in this important dimension of Sangha life as we co-evolve our meditation center.

S tate of the Center Report

From Development Director, Cassandra Shaylor

Dearest Sangha,

Much gratitude for your continuing support of EBMC, making our radical model of Gift Economics at EBMC work as it continues to manifest the resources we need to keep our doors open and to inspire other organizations to consider our approach for their own communities.

Some recent highlights and news about what is coming soon:
readiness Sangha: Taking Refuge in Readiness
by Max Sunanda Airborne

Getting ready to face what's to come. Buckling down and reaching out. Things have been hard for so many already, and we know they are going to get even harder. I want to do everything I can to build our individual and collective strength, resilience, resistance, and ability to be truly "in it together." We need each other, now more than ever.
a project that includes some EBMC sangha members, for supporting our communities to take refuge in readiness

The lightning bolt, for me, symbolizes both the energy of our collective power and my personal commitment. This is taking refuge in sangha, helping us be ready, together.

Here is some of what getting ready means to me right now:
  • Spending time with my beloved disability justice community. Learning to listen to and trust the wisdom of the body. Learning to value, appreciate and know the body itself before the capitalist idea of it. Learning to honor the needs of the body in the ways I show up, and similarly honoring the ways other people show up. Listening to and learning about disabled histories and realities. Committing to centering disability, disabled people and disability justice.
EBMC Staff News

We have added an additional part-time staff position and are pleased to welcome L yla Denburg as our new Development and Facilities Coordinator. Lyla says that she is
thrilled and humbled to be joining EBMC's staff. She is passionate about fostering grassroots fundraising and gift economics models based in abundant generosity, and looks forward to deepening connections with the EBMC Sangha through this avenue. She has served as Associate Director of Prison Radio, and worked extensively with grassroots organizations towards prison industrial complex abolition, Palestinian solidarity, tenants' rights and environmental justice. Over the past few years, Lyla has deepened her practice in the Theravada Buddhist tradition through finding a home in EBMC's Alphabet and Maha Sanghas, and White and Awakening in Sangha. In her spare time she has her hands on a pottery wheel or in dough baking challah.

Alicia Kester stepped down from the EBMC Event Coordinator position at the end of January 2017 and we wish her well on her new job. She says she's looking forward to spending more time meditating at EBMC now that she isn't managing events for us. Candi Martinez, formerly one of our two Event Associates, is our new Event Coordinator. Candi recently got her CPR and First Aid certification.

Community Coordinator Mushim Ikeda, who also works as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant, and who is one of 95 expert panelists for the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks, is the recipient of a Global Diversity Leadership Award from the World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.  

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dharmathon 7th Annual Dharma-thon
Support EBMC's Spring 2017 Fundraiser!

Don't miss the Seventh Annual EBMC Dharma-thon on April 8, 2017, featuring beloved dharma teacher Ruth King! We will have a delicious multi-course meal prepared by local chef Jocelyn Jackson and dharma discussion and community building with Ruth King.

t is very easy to set up a Dharma-thon page 
for help!) and it truly requires very little time and effort on your part to get donations of any amount from 10 donors or raise 
a total of $250. There is still time to be part of this fabulous evening! Go to www.firstgiving.com/ebmc/dharma-thon-2017 

The Dharma-thon is one of our most important fundraising events of the year, and this year we are seeking to raise $25,000 for EBMC.

If you can't to be a Dharma-thoner yourself, please support someone who is and help them to reach their goal.
You can find them at

I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion. 

                              ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)

People of EBMC: 

Anne Finger, Making EBMC Accessibl

EBMC:  Anne, you're one of EBMC's longtime volunteers and Sangha members. What brought you to EBMC, and can you please tell us a little more about yourself?

:  I first came to EBMC because I wanted to find a place where I could meditate with others.  My initial goal was improving my concentration.  I Googled "Meditation" and "Oakland" and EBMC popped up.  I've been a writer for decades--both fiction and creative nonfiction--and have taught creative writing and disability studies.

:  Among other contributions to building community at EBMC, you've been one of our strongest advocates for access at EBMC. Can you tell us more about that?

Anne: When I first came to EBMC, it didn't
Taking part in making signs for the disabled contingent at the Oakland Women's March.
The other side of the sign says "Mad Pussy."
seem there was a lot of attention to disability.  But one thing I love about EBMC is its openness to new points of view, to really addressing the needs of its community.  I've been really pleased to be part of the Every Body Every Mind Sangha that meets on Sunday nights.

EBMC: What else are you passionate about?

Anne: Chocolate, coffee, friendships, travel, my son, reading--not necessarily in that order.

EBMC:  Is there anything else you'd like the EBMC Sangha to know?

A nne:  I hope people will make a commitment to adding disability to "the list."  I've been really heartened by the mass mobilizations that have taken place in response to the current wave of racism and repression.  At the same time, it's been hard for me to see signs and speakers at demonstrations that talk about gender, race, trans, ethnicity--and leave disability off the list.  I hope that we can all make a commitment to standing up for disability justice.
Disabled women and allies at the Oakland Women's March, Jan 21, 2017

Planting the Seeds:
EBMC Family Sangha Blossoms
by Michele Ku
There always was a vision to develop a diverse family program at the East Bay Meditation Center when it opened its doors 11 years ago. Those early seeds have now blossomed into the Family Practice Class. This class is now in its fourth year, and we have an inclusive and diverse sangha of families with babies, toddlers, tweens, grandparents and adult allies to young people. Together we are committed to cultivate a spiritual refuge for all families during these challenging times.  

We call the family sangha "The Family Practice Class: Opening the Heart through the Buddha's Teachings" because we recognize that raising a family can be a deep spiritual practice. We chose the image of a lotus blooming with the Buddha for the class announcement. Why is that? It is because our spiritual practice comes from the messiness of family life, like the lotus rooted into the mud. When we cultivate the Buddhist practices of mindfulness, generosity, loving kindness, compassion and patience, then the heart can open. Together in the family sangha we support each other through joys and challenges while planting these seeds in the world for all beings everywhere.

Building Sangha,  
Building Resilience

by Joan Lohman
February 2017
      While much of the world watched the televised Inauguration in Washington, D.C., sixty-five meditators watched their breath in collective silence at East Bay Meditation Center in downtown Oakland, California.
      A week before the Inauguration, Midday Sangha members were discussing how best to live the Dharma on an emotionally charged Friday morning.  After conferring with staff, Midday Sangha invited the community to "Inaugurate Your Meditation!"

      Arriving early, volunteers set up the temple. Karen Jackson and Preston Justice, from the Midday Coordinating Committee, guided the program. After two periods of meditation, we crowded into the kitchen.  Around cups of hot tea, we talked about building resilience and finding supportive practices and nurturing companionship in this uncertain time.

      The following morning, a number of Sangha members carried EBMC's bright green and yellow banner at the Oakland Women's March.

      "This is what democracy looks like!" The exuberant chant rang through the crowds.
     Our diverse contingent, organized by EBMC Leadership Sangha (board) members Noliwe Alexander and Jenn Biehn, snaked its way through densely packed streets.
      Together in Sangha on Inauguration Day and at the Women's March, we deepened our connection to old and new Sangha siblings. In stillness and movement we found our resilience.

EBMC's Green and Gold banner invites Sangha members to join in the
Oakland Women's March, Jan. 28, 2017

newsletter editor: Mushim   newsletter designer: Grace Gilliam
East Bay Meditation Center | 285 17th Street | Oakland, CA 94612
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EBMC's Mission Statement

Founded to provide a welcoming environment for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities, the   East Bay Meditation Center welcomes everyone seeking to end suffering and cultivate happiness. Our mission is to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building. We offer mindfulness practices and teachings on wisdom and compassion from Buddhist and other spiritual traditions. Rooted in our commitment to diversity, we operate with transparent democratic governance, generosity-based economics, and environmental sustainability.

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